Are Grape Nuts Healthy? 8 Things You Should Know

Is Grape Nuts a healthy breakfast option?

Yes, Grape Nuts is a healthy breakfast option due to its high fiber content, low sugar, and minimal processing.

Continue reading to find out more and check your knowledge!

Ingredients to be cautious about

  • Salt: High sodium content can lead to high blood pressure and increased risk of heart disease.
  • Dried Yeast: May contribute to weight gain and obesity due to its high caloric content.
  • Added Vitamins and Minerals: Some fortified nutrients can be harmful in excess, such as iron and zinc contributing to oxidative stress and cancer risk.
  • Malted Barley Flour: Contains natural sugar which can contribute to weight gain and obesity if consumed in excess.
  • Whole Grain Wheat Flour: While whole grains are generally healthy, excessive consumption can contribute to weight gain and increased risk of chronic diseases such as cancer and diabetes.

Possible short-term side effects

  • High blood pressure
  • Increased risk of heart disease
  • Weight gain
  • Obesity
  • Oxidative stress
  • Cancer risk
  • Increased risk of chronic diseases
  • Risk of diabetes

Possible long-term side effects

  • High blood pressure
  • Increased risk of heart disease
  • Weight gain
  • Obesity
  • Oxidative stress
  • Cancer risk
  • Inflammation
  • Increased risk of chronic diseases
  • Risk of diabetes

Benefits

  • High in fiber
  • Free of added sugar
  • Fortified with iron, zinc, and B vitamins
  • Minimal and simple ingredients
  • Made with whole grain wheat flour

Healthy alternatives

  • Steel-cut oats
  • Quinoa
  • Whole grain bread
  • Natural peanut butter
  • Greek yogurt

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Grape Nuts is such a unique cereal. I remember the first time I ate it, it felt like I was chewing on rocks. Over time, I grew to love it. But is this healthy-looking cereal actually good for you? Let’s take a closer look.

Grape Nuts are made with healthy whole-grain wheat flour, which provides 7g of fiber per serving. Grape Nuts are also free of added sugar, being sweetened with nutritious malted barley flour instead. The only unhealthy part may be the sodium, which is a little high at 280mg per serving.

Below, we’ll compare Grape Nuts to other popular “healthy” cereals like Cheerios and shredded wheat, explore whether it’s a good choice for weight loss, and answer even more questions about its fiber and protein content.

Are Grape Nuts Good for You?

Here are the 8 questions I’ll be answering about Grape Nuts nutrition. Click any of them to skip ahead to that section—or just keep scrolling to read them all:

  1. What Are the Ingredients in Grape Nuts?
  2. Do Grape Nuts Have Added Sugar?
  3. Are Grape Nuts a Good Source of Fiber?
  4. Do Grape Nuts Have Protein?
  5. Are Grape Nuts Processed?
  6. Will Grape Nuts Help You Lose Weight?
  7. Are Grape Nuts the Healthiest Cereal?
  8. Are Grape Nuts Vegan?

1. What Are the Ingredients in Grape Nuts?

Let’s start by discussing what Grape Nuts are actually made of. As you can see, the ingredients list is pretty short:

Grape Nuts Ingredients: Whole Grain Wheat Flour, Malted Barley Flour, Salt, Dried Yeast. [Added Vitamins and Minerals]

Here’s what I notice from these ingredients:

  • Grape Nuts are made with whole grain wheat flour. Whole grains provide much more fiber and other nutrients compared to refined grains. These whole grain wheat also means Grape Nuts should keep you full longer than processed grains.
  • Grape Nuts are free of added sugar. Grape Nuts have natural sugar from malted barley flour, but there is no refined sugar. Instead of the countless negatives of processed sugar, malt actually comes with health benefits.
  • Grape Nuts are fortified with iron, zinc, and B vitamins. Generally, fortification is not the best way to get your nutrients, but in some cases it can still be helpful. I’d consider it a positive that Grape Nuts has these added nutrients.
  • Grape Nuts have simple, minimal ingredients. There are no artificial sweeteners or colors, no processed vegetable oils, and no sketchy preservatives. There are just a few simple ingredients. That’s nice.

Overall, Grape Nuts have pretty “clean” ingredients. There are actually no real big red flags. There is added salt, but that is pretty standard for any cereal.

2. Do Grape Nuts Have Added Sugar?

Grape Nuts do not have added sugar. Grape Nuts only have 5g of natural sugar per 1/2 cup serving from malted barley flour. Malted barley flour is considered healthy, as it is rich in antioxidants and it may even reduce heart disease risk. (source)

If you’re not familiar with “malted barley flour,” here’s what it means: The barley grain is partially germinated in water, and then it is dried with hot air to stop the germination.

This “malting” process creates a sweeter product than what you get with normal barley. Basically, some enzymes break down some of the starch into sugar. So malted barley flour does contain some natural sugar.

Really, it seems like a great way to season a healthy cereal without adding unhealthy or unnatural ingredients like refined sugar or sucralose. I think more cereals should be sweetened like Grape Nuts.

3. Are Grape Nuts a Good Source of Fiber?

Grape Nuts are high in fiber, with 7 grams of fiber per 1/2 cup serving (58g), or about 12g of fiber per 100g of cereal. That is more fiber than Cheerios and Weetabix, and almost as much fiber as shredded wheat. Each serving has 1g of soluble fiber and 6g of insoluble fiber.

Here is a table showing exactly how Grape Nuts compare to several other popular cereals for fiber content:

CerealFiber per 100g
Rice Krispies1.0g
Special K2.3g
Corn Flakes2.4g
Multi-Grain Cheerios9g
Cheerios9.4g
Weetabix10g
Frosted Mini-Wheats10g
Grape Nuts12.1g
Shredded Wheat13.3g
Uncle Sam18.2g
All-Bran Original29.3g
Fiber One46.7g
Fiber content of cereals per 100g.
(Note: Most figures were extrapolated from smaller serving sizes, so they are not exact.)

As you can see, Grape Nuts are by no means the highest-fiber cereal… But they are a relatively high-fiber choice, thanks to being made with whole grain wheat flour.

WIth 1g of soluble fiber, Grape Nuts has the same amount of soluble fiber per serving as Cheerios. This is notable because its soluble fiber that gives Cheerios its reputation for lowering cholesterol. (Logically, Grape Nuts would have the same effect.)

The 6g of insoluble fiber in Grape Nuts is also good for preventing constipation, keeping you regular, and providing other health benefits.

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4. Do Grape Nuts Have Protein?

Grape Nuts have 6 grams of protein per 1/2 cup serving (58g). However, if you’re eating Grape Nuts with milk of some sort, it could have 14 grams or more of protein per serving. This is moderate protein content.

Grape Nuts is not specially formulated to be high in protein, but compared to many cereals, it’s actually relatively high in protein. About 12% of Grape Nuts’ calories come from protein.

Obviously, your selection of milk can impact how much protein is in your cereal, too. If you’re choosing a plant-based milk, then soy milk or pea milk will likely have the most. Almond milk and rice milk are usually low in protein.

As someone who does some bodybuilding and loves cereal, I have a bonus cereal protein tip. Here it is: Mix protein powder into your milk before you pour it on your cereal. This simple change can turn cereal into a high-protein meal, while keeping it easy, quick, and delicious.

5. Are Grape Nuts Processed?

“Processed food” is a bit hard to define. Technically speaking, you could say that slicing up an apple in your kitchen counts as “processing.” But when we talk about “processed food,” we usually mean something else.

In practical terms, the major signs of processed food are when the ingredients include some of the following:

  • refined grains or flour
  • sugar
  • vegetable oil
  • salt
  • monosodium glutamate (MSG)
  • artificial sweeteners
  • artificial colors (like red 40)

Grape Nuts have salt, but no other common processed food ingredients. In this sense, Grape Nuts could be said to be minimally processed. Certainly compared to most cereals, Grape Nuts are less processed than average.

6. Will Grape Nuts Help You Lose Weight?

Grape Nuts can be a good food to include in a weight loss diet. They are high in fiber, which helps you feel satisfied and stay full. They do not have any added sugar, oil, or other processed ingredients that most other popular cereals have.

Weight loss depends on your overall diet and lifestyle. However, choosing whole-grain foods like Grape Nuts can help you feel satisfied on fewer calories, making it easier to lose weight.

You can also aid your weight loss journey with your choice of milk. Did you know that unsweetened almond milk is only about 30 calories per cup? That’s only ~25% of the calories of 2% cow’s milk!

Grape Nuts do have 200 calories per serving, so if you have multiple servings, it could theoretically add up. That said, Grape Nuts are filling. Many people overestimate how much they can eat at first, but even 1 cup will likely leave you stuffed.

In the end, as long as you’re burning more calories than you’re eating, you should lose weight—whether those calories include Grape Nuts or not. But surely, Grape Nuts can fit right into a smart weight-loss plan.

For more help with weight loss, check out this post with 18 tips for weight loss without counting calories.

Related Question:

  • Are Grape Nuts good for losing belly fat? Specific foods cannot help you lose fat from a specific area of your body—that is a myth. Fat loss is a total body process, and it depends on your overall diet and lifestyle—not one food you eat. For more information, read my post on how to get six-pack abs.

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7. Are Grape Nuts the Healthiest Cereal?

Grape Nuts are among the healthiest cereals, but shredded wheat is arguably healthier yet. Shredded wheat is sodium free, while Grape Nuts has 280mg of sodium per serving. Eating too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure and increased heart disease risk. (source)

Let’s review how Grape Nuts compares to various other popular, healthy-looking cereals:

  • Grape Nuts vs Cheerios: Grape Nuts seem healthier than Cheerios. Grape Nuts have more fiber and no added sugar, while Cheerios do have a bit of added sugar. They’re both pretty healthy, but Grape Nuts are on another level.
  • Grape Nuts vs Raisin Bran: Grape Nuts is healthier than Raisin Bran. Grape Nuts have more fiber and less added sugar. Raisin Bran actually has 9g of added sugar per serving, which is quite high.
  • Grape Nuts vs shredded wheat: Shredded wheat is probably a bit healthier than Grape Nuts. Grape Nuts has quite a lot more sodium and slightly less fiber. That said, both are high in fiber and free of added sugar, so they’re both great.
  • Grape Nuts vs All-Bran: Grape Nuts seem healthier than All-Bran (and All-Bran Buds) because All-Bran has about 8g of added sugar per serving.
  • Grape Nuts vs Fiber One: Grape Nuts may be healthier than Fiber One, because Fiber One has some processed ingredients like sucralose and caramel color. That said, if you need a very high-fiber cereal, Fiber One could still be a great choice. Both cereals are free of added sugar.

As you can see, Grape Nuts are more legit than many of these other healthy-looking cereals. But it’s still hard to say if they are really the #1 healthiest—likely not.

Two other very healthy choices: Uncle Sam and oatmeal.

8. Are Grape Nuts Vegan?

Grape Nuts cereal is considered vegan. It has no animal products of any kind. Grape Nuts Flakes, however, contain sugar and added vitamin D3, which some vegans avoid.

A controversial ingredient for vegans in cereal is sugar. Non-organic sugar is often filtered with animal bone char. So, this is an area where Grape Nut Flakes may not be completely vegan on all levels. But normal Grape Nuts are sugar-free, so they’re fine.

Many fortified cereals also have added vitamin D3, which is technically not vegan as it comes from lanolin (from sheep’s wool). Many vegans are ok with it since it’s such a minor ingredient, but technically it’s not vegan. Again—this is only an issue with Grape Nut Flakes, not normal Grape Nuts.

[For more detail, see my separate post on “Are Grape Nuts Vegan?“]

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